ROYAL ASCOT 2020: Today's tips as Murphy seeks to get the better of hero Dettori in Gold Cup

·3 min read
Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy, left, chats with Frankie Dettori, who he admits was his greatest hero growing up
Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy, left, chats with Frankie Dettori, who he admits was his greatest hero growing up

Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy named his new pooch 'Frankie' after his idol Dettori - now he's ready to put his hero in the dog house at Royal Ascot, writes James Toney.

Dettori is seeking a historic third consecutive Gold Cup (3.35pm), on what should be Ladies' Day, on John Gosden's super stayer Stradivarius.

His hopes were boosted when Aidan O'Brien's Kew Gardens - who beat him on British Champions Day - withdrew from what promised to be one of the most fascinating showdowns of the week.

But Murphy looks well-suited to spoil the party on Martyn Meade's TECHNICIAN, who will benefit from the heavy overnight rain after winning a big Group One in heavy conditions at Longchamp last October.

Aidan O'Brien is a three-time winner of the Jersey Stakes (2.25pm) and will fire MONARCH OF EGYPT at the encounter, though favourite King Leonidas gets the preferable draw.

His runners are all seeming to improve for their second run this season - note Russian Emperor's surging win in Wednesday's Hampton Court Stakes - and his charge is back on track just six days after finishing five-and a-quarter lengths behind the impressive Siskin in the Irish 2000 Guineas.

The same O'Brien logic is applied to SIR DRAGONET, Ballydoyle's runner in the Wolferton Stakes (1.50pm) who was fifth in last year's Derby and will improve from his second place run at Naas in March, where the soft to heavy going clearly didn't suit.

Charle Appleby won last year's Chesham Stakes (3.00pm) with the season's most impressive juvenile Pinatubo and his charge, MODERN NEWS, looked an interesting prospect as he narrowly won on Guineas weekend at Newmarket.

GREAT AMBASSADOR placed in four of his five two-year old starts and won confidently on his last visit to the racecourse and looks well-bred to step up to a mile in the Britannia Stakes (4.10pm).

Gosden looks to have got the better of the handicapper in the Sandringham Stakes (4.40pm) with AFRICAN DREAM looking the pick of the field.

Dettori riding Dubai Love for trainer Saeed bin Suroor is intriguing and that horse has raced four times this season, placing in three, at Meydan.

However, Gosden's charge lost by a nose to the well-regarded Stylistique at Newbury one week ago and is due to rise rapidly in the weights in the future.

The 15-runner Golden Gates Handicap (1.15pm) looks a wide open encounter and should some rain arrive, MAORI KNIGHT looks intriguing having only lost by the narrowest of margins - on good to soft ground - earlier this month.

Today’s Royal Ascot selections : 1.15 Maori Knight, 1.50 Sir Dragonet, 2.25 Monarch of Egypt, 3.00 Modern News, 3.35 Technician, 4.10 Great Ambassador, 4.40 African Dream

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